A jape is a joke. The highlight of your family get-togethers might be your funny uncle's japes.
You can tell a jape, or play a jape — or a practical joke — on someone. An older sister might tell her little brother, "I'm not interested in your silly childish japes" when he shows her his whoopie cushion, for example. You could also say that you love your annual holiday party at work, because instead of the usual stress, it's all laughing and japes. The word jape most likely comes from the Old French verb japer, "to howl, bawl, or scream."